In the past few weeks, the Islamic State (ISIS) “caliphate” has collapsed. Syria’s Assad regime all but formally won the six-year war, a consolidation of Iranian and Russian influence. Saudi Arabia purged parts of its royal family. Lebanon’s prime minister abruptly resigned. Iraq’s Kurds voted for independence, triggering a confrontation with Baghdad. Years of U.S. and international engagement has failed to politically and physically rebuild fractured countries, and the very viability of states like Iraq and Syria has been challenged. Where is the region headed, and what are the U.S. roles amid this tumult? At USIP, distinguished Middle East analysts explored where the region is headed, and the U.S. roles amid this tumult.
On November 29, the U.S. Institute of Peace held a discussion on the complex governance challenges in Raqqa and how the United States and the international community can constructively address them.
New research highlights how communities use cohesion and social structures to non-violently influence armed groups—a capacity that governments and institutions often fail to recognize. On October 2, USIP convened a discussion on such community self-protection, and how policymaking might better support it in conflict zones such as in Syria or Afghanistan.
U.S.-backed military offensives, at Mosul in Iraq and at Raqqa in Syria, are squeezing the Islamic State (ISIS) from its last territorial strongholds. But what will replace ISIS rule? Persistent conflicts in both countries, including new ones fueled by ISIS’ brutal rise, continue to undermine stability. Can Iraq steady itself, even as ethnic Kurds have called a referendum on independence? In eastern Syria, what groups might fill the post-ISIS power vacuum? Will ISIS even be truly eliminated? On June 30, experts from the U.S. Institute of Peace held a Facebook Live discussion on the rising challenges.
The U.S. Institute of Peace and Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies hosted a daylong conference on March 22 examining China’s impact—positive or negative—on local and international efforts to reduce violent conflict.
On December 5, to mark the Fifth Annual Arab-American Day, the League of Arab States and the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a discussion with Arab women leaders, academics and policymakers, including the newly-elected Minnesota House Representative and Somali American, Ilhan Omar, on how education and economic opportunities can engage women and men in supporting women’s voices, equality and success.
On May 10, the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum held a discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace on women, social media and extremism.
Wars and oppression—from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan and parts of Africa—last year pushed more than a million people to seek safety and opportunity in Europe. This tide of migrating humanity has heightened Europe’s tensions around its growing Muslim community. Conflict is growing around terrorism, the status of sharia law, the construction of mosques, and the possibility and desirability of multicultural societies. On March 23, American University anthropologist Akbar Ahmed screened his 201...
On November 12, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the U.S. Institute to deliver a policy speech focused on Syria. Read the event coverage, Kerry Says Assad Staying as Syrian Leader Is a "Non-Starter".
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley led a discussion September 18 of how the United States and its partners should respond to the greatest displacement of people since World War II. With former British foreign secretary David Miliband, USIP President Nancy Lindborg and other panelists, they focused on the steps needed to address this crisis at its roots.